McKeesport Area school directors and staff took time during the February school board meeting to remember the late Debra Bertoty.
Bertoty, 46, of White Oak was employed in the district for 23 years as a learning support teacher at George Washington, Cornell and Centennial Elementary Schools and, most recently, at Francis McClure Intermediate School, where she was a life-skills teacher for third, fourth and fifth graders. She died Feb. 16 following a brief illness.
“Students and staff are struggling with the unfortunate and untimely passing of Ms. Bertoty,” said Mark Holtzman Jr., district superintendent. “She was a very important member of the McKeesport school district family.”
In other business, the board accepted a bid of $142,920 from Skyward Inc. for student management software. The package will replace the district's existing GoEdustar and ProSoft record-keeping system.
“ProSoft is struggling to keep accurate student records,” Holtzman said, but Skyward offers “more of a first-class situation.”
The systems manage the district’s lesson plans, health services, curriculum planning and other information.
When it comes to recording grades, transfers and attendance, Holtzman said it's not an option to continue with the existing systems.
“It’s not negotiable,” he said. “It’s inevitable that we make a change and go to a comparable program.”
The initial cost will cover set-up fees, training and first-year maintenance, Holtzman said. The price includes transferring the data from the old system to the new one.
“There is a huge number associated with the change,” he said. “The initial fee will be broken up over a two-year period and worked through the technology budget.”
However, over the next five years, the new system will cost less per year than the current system, Holtzman said.
Richard Finch Jr. is a freelance writer who covers news from McKeesport Area School District and North Versailles Twp. for Tube City Almanac. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published March 06, 2019.